This topic looks at the concept of a 'development scheme'. It covers the underlying definitions, the approval
procedure, building compliance and residential tenant protection.
1 Sectional Title Scheme
A sectional titles scheme comes into being when conventional land and buildings are 'developed' under the Act as a 'scheme', or 'development scheme'. This happens when a developer decides to divide the land and the building(s) on the land into sections and common property by opening a sectional title register for the land and the building(s).
At this stage the entry in the land register for conventional land is endorsed to the effect that the land is included in a development scheme under the Act and no further entries are made in the land register.
2 Approval procedure
Section 4 of the Act covers this aspect. A developer who wants to develop a sectional title scheme must make sure that the land on which he wants to develop the scheme is situated within the area of jurisdiction of a local authority and that the building which he has erected is of a permanent nature. He must then instruct an architect and a land surveyor to ascertain whether the land and the building comply with any operative town‐ planning requirements and whether the building has been erected in accordance with valid building plans.
In case of non‐ compliance the developer would have to apply to the local authority
concerned (municipality) for condonation of the defect. This means that he must ask the municipality concerned to excuse or disregard the defect. Should he want to convert an existing rental building to sectional titles, the tenants in the building must be given certain information and a right to purchase their sections before he can proceed. He must then instruct the architect and land surveyor to prepare a draft sectional plan showing the division of the land and buildings into sections, common property and exclusive use areas and to submit the plan for approval by the Surveyor‐ General of the region where the property is situated.
Once the sectional plan is approved it can be submitted to the deeds office for registration.
3 Requirements for approval of a scheme
Section 4 of the Act provides that:
- A developer who intends to establish a scheme must arrange to have a draft sectional plan submitted to the Surveyor‐ General (the sheets of the plan can be prepared by a land surveyor and an architect can prepare all sheets except for the first, the 'block plan');
- There can be more than one building and more than one piece of land in a scheme and separate pieces of land do not have to be adjoining
- A building must not extend over the boundary between two pieces of land unless they have been notarially tied. A 'notarial tie' is created by registration of an agreement executed before a Notary Public to the effect that the two properties cannot be separately dealt with.
4 Residential tenant protections
Sections 4 and 10 of the Act make extensive provision for the protection of residential housing consumers (tenants) during the process of the development of existing leased buildings (rental apartment buildings) as sectional title development schemes.
Sectional Title Property Searches - Deedsearch - http://www.deedsearch.co.za
UCT - University of Cape Town - http://www.uct.ac.za
Acts - Acts Online - http://www.acts.co.za
Here concludes Part 1 of South Africa Online Property Course.